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Monday, November 5, 2018

The Canon 7D Mark III

I keep hearing many rumors regarding the possible release of the Canon 7D Mark III, but before I speculate as to what I think the new camera might look like on a spec sheet, I want to redirect you to what the Canon CEO explained to us at the beginning of this year.
Our primary management goal this year is to raise our antennas high toward cutting-edge technology. It is on this point where we lag behind other companies. We will open up a research and development center in the U.S.’s Silicon Valley, where we will actively adopt new technology.”
Furthermore, there were other quotes which talked about Canon halting development on some products in order to reevaluate and determine what the next steps were.  I personally believe that the Canon EOS 7D Mark III design and prototyping was halted in order to determine if it was cutting edge enough and what the future might look like for the camera. As far as announcements, I personally feel like we are looking at Q1 of 2019, but who knows, I may be surprised.
Canon EOS 7D Mark II (G) Digital SLR Camera Body {20 M/P}
Canon EOS 7D Mark II - the current flagship APS-C camera offered by Canon

Will it be Mirrorless?

With all the talk about Canon's new mirrorless offerings, one simply has to wonder which camera will be next.  Will the 7D Mark III be the next mirrorless?  Personally, I don't think so.  Since the 7D Mark III is the flagship APS-C camera and utilizes the same autofocus system as the 1 Series cameras, I think it will become mirrorless within the same time frame as the 1 Series bodies do.  They will be the last to go mirrorless.  

What will the Specs Look Like?

We can all sit here and make our predictions and let's be honest it is fun to do that.  So why should I be any different.  In light of the CEO's announcement above, here are my latest predictions.
  • 28 Megapixel Sensor
  • New AF comparable to the 1DX Mark II
  • Autofocus sensor count will not increase or will increase very little
  • 4K video at 60 fps
  • 1080p video at 120p
  • Ability to pull stills out of the 4K video 
  • 14 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Dual Digic 8 processors
  • Touch Screen LCD with touch focus on video
  • Bigger buffer to handle 6 seconds of continuous shooting at 14 fps
  • More cross point AF points
  • Ability to shoot f8 lenses/TC on the entire center cluster
  • ISO 1600 will be the new ISO 800
  • No AA filter - I would love to see this, but I am skeptical. 

Possible Additions

  • Built in wifi
  • CFast card slot(s)
  • 30+ Megapixel Sensor (unlikely but possible)

Conclusion
Personally, I think this will be the last 7D series to include a mirror.  The 7D Mark IV will be mirrorless as well as the 1DX Mark IV.  I think this will be a move that is not only expected by the shooters, but one which Canon has to embrace to continue to be a major player in the marketplace.

The 7D Mark III will not have any features that are earth shaking, but I do think that finally we are are going to see a camera that has had significant enough upgrades to be considered a win by most.  This will be the last flagship body to receive the 4K upgrade and it is needed by many.  Don't look for huge gains in image quality, but expect to see better noise performance and a huge boost to AF speed.  If they remove the AA filter, the image quality will increase also and that could be a huge win for Canon.


I do think this upgrade will be worth moving up from the Canon 7D Mark II for those who are looking to take advantage of the newer features.  I think the AF system alone will be worth the upgrade for wildlife photographers.




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